Time to Reinvent ROI?


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Today’s business news included a stark report on the American workplace. Only about half of our country’s workers are happy with what they are doing–a 22-year low.

Workers under 25 are the most unhappy demographic group, apparently. And unhappy older workers are less inclined to share their knowledge, skills and experience with younger counterparts.

Both facts relate to workplace education and training. Younger workers, who spend the most time online, are educating themselves and feel less dependent on corporate training programs. And older workers’ decreasing contributions to overall worker development will add pressure for a company to invest in high quality training programs.

But the biggest losers will be large, well-established and very expensive internal programs such as Quality and Safety. Even before the recent business downturn, companies were dealing with an erosion in employee commitment to these initiatives. And the more unhappy and demoralized a workforce becomes, the less likely its members will be to keep their workplace safe and their output quality high.

Given the soaring Cost of Quality figures that most companies face–even those using Six Sigma, Lean or similar management improvemnt methodologies–such news can only have a negative impact on ROI. And where Quality standards go, so goes customer satisfaction; more bad news.

If the downturn was almost over, finding solutions to these significant problems might be easier. But most signs point to a full U.S. recovery being weak and far off. Some immediate action to initiate meaningful change and increase real engagement of rank and file workers is called for.

The first place to look may be our traditional definition of ROI.

Would new measurements and standards help executives develop strategies more pertinent to our changing business landscapes? What would it take for corporate leaders to tap into the positive aspects of social media (sense of ownership, new willingness to teach and learn, a more dynamic engagement model, etc) while presenting viable alternatives to some of social media’s inherent weaknesses?

Some type of change is already on the way. More and more Americans are accepting responsibility for their own success, and uncovering innovative ways to ward off failure.

Tweetups and Meetups, Stumbling and unfriending, viral posting and roasting . . . a whole new generation of investment opportunities and potholes is emerging. How well companies can get some bottom-line return on such changes may determine the severity and longevity of our current business malaise.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Carey Giudici
Betterwords for Business
Carey has a unique, high-energy approach to help small business owners, entrepreneurs and in-transition professionals make their Brand and content achieve superior results in the social media. He calls it "Ka-Ching Coaching" because the bottom line is always . . . your bottom line. He has developed marketing and training material for a Fortune 5 international corporation, a large public utility, the Embassy of Japan, the University of Washington, and many small businesses and entrepreneurs.


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